Oct. 6-12 is National Physician Assistant Week

October 6, 2014

They practice medicine in every specialty, in every setting. They diagnosis illnesses and prescribe medication.  And they increase access to quality medicine for patients everywhere.

They are Physician Assistants, a versatile profession of medical providers trained at the UNT Health Science Center since 1997.

To recognize their impact on health care, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and the City Council signed a proclamation declaring Oct. 6  to Oct. 12 National Physician Assistant Week. The proclamation stated that Physician Assistants are often the “first point of contact for patients” and “provide affordable, quality and accessible health care” for the Fort Worth community.

At UNTHSC, PA students have planned activities to celebrate the week, including a donation drive for Cook Children’s Medicine Center, health and wellness promotion and other community outreach.

Physician Assistants function much like doctors, taking patient histories, performing physical exams, ordering and interpreting laboratory and diagnostic tests, and prescribing medications and making referrals, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

“PAs are improving the health of all Texans, increasing access through team-based practice and providing excellent medical care,” said Thomas Diver, MPAS, PA-C, Chair of the PA Student Performance Committee.

The UNTHSC School of Health Professions offers a 34-month program to earn a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. The program is currently ranked among the top 35 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

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